Bergenhus Fortress and Rosenkrantz Tower, Bergen

Bergenhus Fortress and Rosenkrantz Tower, Bergen (must see)

The tower and the Fortress must be thought of as one establishment. The Fortress has been a royal seat and residence, episcopal see and a military power base. The grounds within the walls of the island fortress are Holmen, Koengen and Sverresborg. The Fortress was built in the early 1500s. It was considered complete in 1700.

The Fortress was under siege only once during the second Dutch-English War. In August, 1665, a squadron of Dutch vessels took shelter in neutral Bergen Harbor. The neutrality was not respected. The English warships fired on the Dutch ships and the Fortress. Fire was returned. The battle was a short one. It came to be known as The Battle of Vagen.

The English were attacking vessels of the Dutch East India Company. The attack failed. No ships were sunk. In the Second World War Bergenhus was once again in service. This time however it was a German occupying force that used the fort as their western headquarters.

Begenhus has been a military facility without interruption since 1628. Presently 220 military and civilian personnel are stationed at the fort.

The Rosenkrantz Tower is the dominant building of the fort complex. It was named for governor Erik Rosenkrantz. The tower got its present form during Rosenkrantz's reign, 1559-1568. There is a yet older part of the tower. It is a medieval tower called the "keep by the Sea." It was built by King Magnus the Lawmaker in 1270.

Rosenkrantz's building held dungeons on the first floor and cannons on the roof. With residential rooms in between it must have been insufferably loud in a battle. Not a good place for meditation.

The other medieval structure to remain is Haakon's Hall, built about 1270. It was incorporated in Rosenkrantz's Tower. Several Churches, including Bergen's Christ Church were included in the premises. The churches were demolished by 1531 and the isle of Holmen became strictly military.

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Bergenhus Fortress and Rosenkrantz Tower on Map

Sight Name: Bergenhus Fortress and Rosenkrantz Tower
Sight Location: Bergen, Norway (See walking tours in Bergen)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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